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Personal Finances / Credit Cards and Consumer Debt


Subject:  Re: Credit Card Debt Question Date:  5/8/2013  2:42 PM
Author:  jeffbrig Number:  307008 of 312149

I had a lot of CC debt 10 years ago. Like $30-35k at one point. Like determinedmom, I found it extremely helpful to payoff some cards, then use balance transfer offers to move money around to lower interest rates (hopefully with promotional balance transfer rates). Never purchase anything on a card holding a balance sitting at a promotional rate. Lock them away in a drawer and forget about them. Keep track of when the promotional rates expire, and be prepared to pay them off or transfer the balance to another card as needed. Include transfer fees in any calculations you do to decide if an offer is any good or not. If you have good credit, it's not necessarily a bad idea to open a new card to get a special balance transfer offer - but only if you are disciplined enough to NOT use the card you are clearing.

As far as your loan option, I don't think 9% is not low enough to lock my money in. I would pay off the smaller card first, then hope for a balance transfer offer from them (or any other empty cards you may hold). When I was paying down my CC debt, I was able to get my debts down to an average of about 1.5% spread across 3 cards. It may not be as easy today, because cc companies aren't as generous with credit lines and teaser rates as they once were.

I just saw a balance transfer offer yesterday from Discover for 4% APR for two years and no fee. Best I've seen in years, but I have no need for it. All of my cards are paid in full every month.
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